Today, 5,000 left-wing demonstrators – self-proclaimed “anti-fascists” – prevented a peaceful gathering on Heumarkt in downtown Cologne of opponents of the Islamisation of Europe. The gathering had been planned by Pro Cologne, a conservative political party which is opposing the building of a giant mosque in the city, the fourth largest town in Germany. The mosque is to have a dome 37 meters high and two minaret stretching up 55 meters. It is being built by the Cologne branch of the department of religious affairs of Turkey, which reports directly to the Prime Minister of Turkey.
Pro Cologne had invited politicians from other European parties that oppose Islamization – namely Filip Dewinter, a leader of the Flemish Vlaams Belang party, Andreas Mölzer, a member of the European Parliament for the Austrian Freedom Party, and Mario Borghezio, a member of the European Parliament for the Italian Northern League – to address the meeting. The German police prevented Dewinter and Mölzer from leaving Cologne airport and prohibited the Pro Cologne meeting after left-wing demonstrators barred people from entering Heumarkt.
In a comment at the Gates of Vienna blog an eyewitness wrote:
I am sitting in my hotel now after a long day in Cologne I was attacked on Eibahnstrasse by Antifa [“anti-fascist”] thugs as I tried to make my way to Heumarkt where we were slated to meet for our conference. My friend Michael Kucherov was beaten up yesterday. I am utterly shocked by the behavior of the police who seem to be acting as a surrogate of Antifa. I am not writing a very coherent post because I am exhausted, in pain and just bewildered by how far gone Europe is at this point.
Michael Kucherov is a Jewish member of Pro Cologne. The police decided to prohibit the Pro Cologne meeting because they could not guarantee the safety of people going to attend the gathering. “We can't allow a few hundred people to deliberately enter a battleground,” a police spokesman told the press. Only some 50 opponents of Islamisation managed to reach Heumarkt, including Mario Borghezio who held an impromptu speech – in Italian.
At the airport, Filip Dewinter criticised Fritz Schramma, the Christian-Democrat mayor of Cologne and a proponent of the mosque, who had exhorted his townsmen to demonstrate against the Pro Cologne gathering and to display their “intolerance” towards Pro Cologne. Dewinter compared Schramma to Freddy Thielemans, the Socialist mayor of Brussels, who for two consecutive years has banned demonstrations commemorating the 2001 9/11 terror victims in Manhattan because he does not want to upset the Brussels Muslims. “Brussels and Cologne have mayors who kneel and submit to Islamisation,” he said.
Mayor Schramma said today's events were “a victory for the city of Cologne and a victory by the democratic forces in this city.” Armin Laschet, minister for minorities in North Rhine-Westphalia state, who is also a Christian-Democrat, was equally jubilant. He said it was the first time an entire German city “stood up to protect its Muslims.”
Cologne: A Tale of Two Mayors, 20 September 2008
An International Disgrace: Germans Kick Out "Undesirables", 21 September 2008